Do you know which is the best country to grow old in? The world is ageing fast and the number of elderly people is growing every year. However, there are big differences among individual countries when it comes to growing old. HelpAge International, an international non-governmental organization that helps older people claim their rights, challenge discrimination, and overcome poverty; developed the Global AgeWatch Index. This index compares the quality of life of older citizens in different countries all over the world. The Index is also a tool to measure progress and aims to improve the impact of policy and practice on ageing populations. Based on four main domains (income security, health status, capability and enabling environment), the Index is used to create an annual ranking of the best and worst countries to grow old in. To find out what countries are the most elderly-friendly, check out this post with 25 Best Countries To Grow Old In.
Home to 65.1 million people (out of which 14.9 million are over 60), the United Kingdom ranks consistently high in all domains. It particularly stands out in the enabling environment domain as a vast majority of the British elderly are satisfied with their social connections, safety, civic freedom and access to public transport.
The most populous country on the list, the US has a population of 324.7 million, including 66.5 million of people over 60. It ranks highest in the capability domain, with an employment rate and educational attainment among older people above the regional averages. Older Americans also enjoy relatively high safety and social connectedness.
Home to 127.1 million people, out of which 41.9 million are over 60, Japan has the longest life expectancy in the world and the highest proportion of older people in the world. Older Japanese enjoy healthy lives, high safety, civic freedom and social connectedness. It ranks lowest in the income domain but still has above regional and Index averages for pension income coverage.
With a population of just 0.3 million (60,000 over 60), Iceland is the smallest country on the list but it is a great place to grow old in. Iceland has 100% pension income coverage, very low old age poverty and great values on both life expectancy at 60 and healthy life expectancy at 60. Older Icelanders are also happy with their social connectedness, safety, civic freedom and public transport.
Out of 17 million Dutch, 4.2 million are 60 or older. This Western European country has above average values on all indicators in the enabling environment domain, low old age poverty rate and 100% pension income coverage. Older Dutch are also well-educated as 81% of them have secondary or higher education.